The Dark Is Rising

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Enter the young adult world of Susan Cooper. Perfect for fans of His Dark Materials. It's Christmas-time in the Stanton family house: presents, carol singing, good cheer. But for eleven-year-old Will Stanton, something sinister has begun, inching round his subconscious, shouting silent warnings he can't decipher. Then on Midwinter Day, Will wakes up to a different world: silent, covered in snow and ancient forest, a world of another time. A world where evil lurks. Because Will is not the ordinary boy he always thought he ...

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LeChatBlanche

Aug 22, 2008

An Underrated Classic

'The Dark is Rising' is the second of the five books that make up the Dark is Rising Sequence. It is also undoubtedly my favourite of them, though the others come pretty close behind. I first picked thos book up years ago and immediately fell in love with it and its almost quintessential Englishness. The story in this book revolves around Will Stanton, who has just turned eleven and discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, a group of immortal beings who protect the world from the forces of the drak. In order to help them in this formidable battle, Will has to find and collect the six signs of the light in time to hold back the forces of the dark led by the Black Rider. Helped by his friend and mentor Merriman Lyon and the other Old Ones, Will tries to fulifill his task whilst coming into his powers and slipping back and forth in time, while at the same time trying to protect his large, loving family from harm. The fact that the book takes place around Christmas time helps immensely and I always feel very warm and comfortable as I read of the Stanton's preparations for Christmas!

'The Dark is Rising' is one of my favourite books and part of my favourite fantasy series. By no means be put off by the frankly abysmal film adaptation ('The Seeker') that spoils the book, practically rewriting it and making the main character American and setting it in modern day instead of about fifty years ago. The book is infinitely better than the horrible film so please do not be afraid to pick it up and enjoy what is in my opinion a very British and very much underrated fantasy novel for people of all ages. Enjoy!

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